Although spiders can be quite beneficial by trapping other pests in their webs, the fear of spiders is one of the most common phobias of all. In addition, both active and inactive spider webs can make your home look dirty and unkempt. Of course, some spiders, such as the black widow and Arizona brown recluse, are dangerous and should never be allowed inside the home. Although professional pest control is the only way to banish these invaders for good, following 5 simple tips can greatly reduce the chances of spiders making a new home with you.

1. Clear the clutter
Spiders prefer to hide in dark, undisturbed places. In many homes, this means areas of the garage or the attic that are rarely used. However, any pile of clutter is a potential home to an invading spider. Discourage them from setting up housekeeping by clearing out as much clutter as possible, particularly piles that you rarely disturb. Clear any debris from around your home’s perimeter as well, such as grass clippings or gardening kits. If you have a wood pile, move it well away from the house. To avoid bites, wear heavy work gloves when moving piles that could contain spiders.

2. Seal the cracks
Spiders don’t need the front door to enter your home. Most houses have minor cracks in siding, caulking, window screens, and other areas that could create potential entry points. Take a hard look at the outside of your home and repair any areas where entry barriers appear to be compromised. Remember that most spiders are very small, so even minor gaps could be enough for them to get inside.

3. Shake it out
Before using shoes from the back of the closet, laundry that has been sitting in a hamper or in a pile on the floor, and similar items that have sat undisturbed, get into the habit of shaking them out. Also check grocery bags, boxes, and other packages before moving them inside. Even setting items in the driveway while unloading the car could provide an entry route for spiders.

4. Get rid of webs
Not only do webs look unsightly and unhygienic, but they can encourage the spiders that made them to come back. If you find a spider web, vacuum it up or dust it away. Use caution to avoid knocking any lingering spiders onto your clothes or skin. In addition, little-used areas should be vacuumed regularly, even if you don’t see webs. Regularly disturbing the space with a vacuum cleaner can catch stray spiders and create an environment that is inhospitable to them.

5. Repel with smells

Although there is little hard science behind this belief, many people find that certain scents are repellent to spiders. Essential oils are a popular choice, as they are easy to use, smell good to humans, and pose no harm to children or pets. Just mix a few drops of the oil with a bit of dishwashing liquid and some water in a spray bottle, and spray around your home’s perimeter. Popular spider-repelling scents include peppermint, lavender, citrus, and tea tree.

Other options include vinegar, lemon peel, baking soda, and turmeric. Mix your chosen aromatic with a bit of water and spray it around the house, or leave small dishes laying strategically throughout your house. If you have pets or kids, make sure the dishes are positioned where they can’t get into them. Although these food-grade items are not toxic, consuming large quantities is not necessarily good for anyone.

There is no reason to fear spiders, which generally make a habit of staying as far away from humans as possible. However, bites can and do occur when humans and spiders come into direct contact with one another. If you are bitten, try to trap the spider for identification and seek medical treatment if you have any doubt about the type of spider that bit you. With prompt medical care, very few spider bites are fatal in the United States today.

With more than 40 years of service and a Tucson family legacy that stretches four generations, University Termite & Pest Control is well prepared to meet even the trickiest pest control challenges. Our Signature Series programs allow you to customize your service in the way that makes the most sense for you. Add-ons, from termite extermination to bee removal, ensure that your home and family are fully protected. Give us a call today at 520-886-4146 (Tucson) to learn how best to protect your home.

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